tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC February 10, 2012 2:00pm-3:00pm PST
kennedy and the gang from new york next week. then we're back on the road off to kentucky, ohio, and chicago. the week after next, i hope you'll stay with us as the 30 million jobs tour rolls on. stick around as chris matthews is with us right now with some "hardball." good deal. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. leading off tonight, peace agreement. that's what it looks like tonight when dra broke this morning the president was facing an uproar in his own party. prominent democrats were protesting the way he handled the issue of church organizations being forced to pay for birth control. tonight he stopped the hemorrhaging. he's won an agreement with democrats and pro-obama voices in the catholic church who were
opposed to his position. while republicans wage war on him and the catholic bishops are not happy about the deal yet, it was a good day for the president. that's our top story tonight. plus what's the damage report from this hard fight? we'll ask the "hardball" strategists. also look at mitt. here comes rick. mitt romney and rick santorum address cpac today. mitt said all the right things, but many conservatives suspect he's just mouthing the words. santorum, on the other hand, sounds like someone who mean what is he says. that's a big problem for mitt. and antiimmigration fever. did a mississippi state representativeç really introdu a bill to change the name of the gulf of mexico to the gulf of america? finally, let me finish with the president's political savvy. we start with the deal president obama made today in that fight over birth control. melinda hennenberger is with
"the washington post." and cynthia tucker is a professor at the university of georgia. thank you for joining us. it's been a tesch lent week. but today president obama announced he was changing the rule on contraceptive coverage. let's listen. >> under the rule, women will still have access to free preventive care that includes contraceptive services, no matter where they work. so that core principle remains. but if a woman's employer is a charity or a hospital that has a religious objection to providing contraceptive services as part of their health plan, the insurance company, not the hospital or the charity, will be required to reach out and offer the woman contraceptive carefree of charge without copays. >> the archbishop timothy dolan said his organization sees
initial opportunities in preserving the principle of religious freedom after president obama's announcement today. so that was a positive note. the archbishop added while there may be an openness to respond to our concerns, we reserve judgment on the e details until we have them under hand. one of the key people in this whole debate is president of the catholic health association. she said she'sç satisfied with the president's actions. "the framework developed has responded to the issues that we identified needed to be fixed." maielinda melinda, you have been covering this for the past couple days. the the president blew the whistle on this fight. the president decided a week ago they had gone too far. he was simply looking for time to get someone to come up with a solution like we found today. >> i think this is fantastic for everybody. i think it is a classic win-win. and it's terrific that on principle and on politics, i
think he did the right thing. of course, there are still going to be critics. there are republican critics of the president who would never have been satisfied, but for people this whom was a matter of principle, this was about the first amendment, i think they can be very pleased that the president listened to their concerns and acted on them. >> basically, the solution is that instead of mandating that catholic institutions like colleges and universities and hospitals and charities, that those organizations be forced to provide health insurance that provides birth control. now the government will say in those cases where there is objection, cynthia you pick up here, that the government under this new law will mandate that those insurance policies cover birth control. so it seems like an incredibly amazing arbitrary way to solve something, but it seems like it solves it. >> the insurance companies have
to provide the contraception, which seems to be the difference here. and that's fine. if rational people areç satisfd with this, it is as melinda said, a win-win. i think sister carol keenan signing off on this is a really big deal because she was a supporter of the health care law all along. it preserves what president obama was trying to do, which is make sure that contraception is readily and easily available. this means that women don't have to dole out a copay if they want the birth control pill or other contraceptives. and for some women, that's a big deal. this will help curb the abortion rate. for those of us who are tired of the abortion wars, if you really want to curb the abortion rate, make contraception more easily
available, and this does that. >> of course, it was all a question of what role the churches were willing to play. they didn't want to be the ones to put money towards birth control, but liberal catholics were willing to say the federal government has a right to do what it does in these cases. they control health policy. there they go. here's tim kaine, one of the many democrats caught in the middle of this. he's running in a tight race in virginia for the united states senate. he pointed to some of the problems in that rule, but now he supports the president's latest it ration of it. let's listen to governor kaine. >> my only concern was that a church or a church affiliated-institution not be required to do something or purchase a coverage that violated religious doctrine.ç that concern has been conclusively solved by this compromise. >> now u.s. senator bob casey of pennsylvania who was strongly
pro-life said i'll review the details of today's announcement to determine whether it strikes the right bounds. he's hesitant here. how do you read that? the fact that he's not ready to sign on? is he waiting for the bishops. >> i don't think so, and i don't know for sure. it sounds like he wants to know every detail before he makes a statement. but i think that most people where bob casey is seem to be happy with this deal. >> let's go to the holdouts. the republicans right now, we want to quote right now representative fred upton, he's the chairman of the commerce committee. he's been designated by speaker boehner to take charge of this issue from the republican side. john baner said he's not satisfied so far. the catholic church and others in our nation's religious community are not yet convinced the president's mandate doesn't
constitute an attack on religious freedom. the house of representatives will continue to work towards a legislative solution. so i don't know what to make of that. this is all a combination of church belief, religious belief, background, ideology, and good old-fashioned politics. maybe they don't want to walk back so quickly. they want to give the president some more heat, at least for the weekend. >> i think it's more politics than anything else. let's reason, john boehner is against the entire affordable care act, which provides theç larger context for this debate. so he doesn't want women to be able to get contraceptives without copay or any of the preventive care that people will get without copays through the affordable care act. but you know, i think that's a dangerous position for republicans to take. most women, according to polls,
support the idea of making contraceptives broadly available without copays through insurers. and i see republicans just widening the gender gap if they continue to insist that they are against this. >> what i think was good, melinda? >> i think for catholic women, the issue was the government flying in and telling the church they had to do this. it was not over birth control. so for people for whom it was not over birth control, the issue is solved now. on the cost side, it's interesting to see that this is cost neutral and in the end will save money. and as cynthia said, and i think this is so important. if this reduces the abortion rate, that should be the ultimate win. >> politically, i think the president put it together. e he wanted to reassemble his coalition. he was bringing it back together and he did so today as a political issue. put aside values and religion, pure politics.
he did his job today. melinda hennenburg and cynthia tucker, thank you. rick santorum was a hero today. santorum giving the old-time religion and he loved it. you're watching "hardball" on msnbc.ç [ male announcer ] drinking a smoothie with no vegetable nutrition? ♪ [ gong ] strawberry banana! [ male announcer ] for a smoothie with real fruit plus veggie nutrition new v8 v-fusion smoothie. could've had a v8.
♪ ♪ it's nice to see you... [ male announcer ] this is your moment. this is zales, the diamond store. take an extra 10 percent off storewide now through sunday. we have new poll terms on the presidential race. let's check the "hardball" score board. in north carolina, it's neck and neck in the presidential matchup between president obama and mitt romney. obama at 47% and romney at 46%. in new jersey, president obama's approval rating is ticking up. it's into positive territory now. 51% approve. we'll be right back. how they'll live tomorrow. for more than 116 years,
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welcome back to "hardball." two highly-anticipated speeches today here in washington at cpac. while mitt romney played defense on his credentials, rick santorum seemed to revel in the social issues. let's listen to santorum and then romney. >> we hear those same voices today that we have to learn our lesson. that we need to compromise, do what's politically reasonable and go out and push someone forward who can win. i think we have learned our lesson. and the lesson we have learned is that we will no longer abandon and apologize for the policies and principles that made this country great from a hollow victory in november. >> this election is not just
about getting more votes, defeating barack obama is only one step towards our ultimate goal of saving america. [ applause ] >> of course, we can defeat barack obama. that's the easy part. believe me, november 6th will be theç easiest day our next president is going to face. >> newt gingrich also gave a fiery speech just moments ago. there's a new poll out that shows santorum surging nationally. catch this. what kind of momentum does he have going into the next few weeks? mark halperin was in the middle of it all. david corn is the washington bureau chief and a political analyst here for msnbc as well. gentlemen, let's look at the polling. this is from fox news. it has some fascinating findings. the poll was conducted from monday through thursday of this week. in the first two days of this week, romney has a big league.
his closest opponent it gingrich. santorum, a distant third. look at the numbers for the last two days. wednesday of thursday of this week shows santorum surging, doubling his vote practically, and gingrich collapsing. look at the numbers on the right. santorum is now tied at 30% with mitt romney and gingrich is, again, a distant third. david corn, this is stunning. it shows -- what a boring word -- volatility. this guy wins three primaries and the entire people of the country are like lemmings. they say, is that the word from the big boys? we're all now for santorum. >> it's a shiny object. >> why are they doing it? >> if you look at the numbers, mitt romney dropped 5 points, but newt dropped ten points. we get back to the same story we've been talking about since last sum perp what happens to the!çnon-romney vote. the volatility is like going
from newt stampeding to rick santorum after those wins. if you sort of factor it in and took a poll today, you'd probably see even more running from newt to rick santorum. so mitt romney stays at about 30%. the other people are running around trying to figure out where to go to find that non-romney. >> mark, a lot of people who watch this show are progressive. they are looking across the aisle saying, what the heck is going on over there? democrats are for obama. they were fairly consistent the last couple elections. this party seems to be like a yo-yo. what happened tuesday night? they got the headlines. by wednesday and thursday, the republican party is a different party. it's more of a santorum party than ever before. because of the news? >> they are not engaged in the election very much. we see that in the turnover numbers.
we have a front runner in mitt romney, still most likely the nominee. he has a ceiling on his support. florida, he was able to shatter that. and it's possible that going forward, unlike on the three states on tuesday, if he spends the money he did in florida, last tuesday will just be like a bad dream for him. but it's also possible that santorum can keep this going and finally be at the right moment a musical chairs, the guy who sat down at the right time when the music sto music stopped. >> here he is going after hi&o fellow candidates. >> we're not going to win this election, ladies and gentlemen, because the republican candidate has the most money to beat up their opponent and win the election. [ applause ] >> we won in 2010 because conservatives rallied. they were excited about the
contrast. we always talk about how to get the moderates. why would an undecided voter vote for a candidate in the party who the party is not excited about? >> here's romney making a case using an unusual term here describing himself as "severely conservative." i never heard anybody call themselves severely conservative. here's mitt romney defending himself. >> i fought against long odds in a deep blue state, but i was a severely conservative republican governor. i understand that the battles we as conservatives must fight because i have been on the front lines and expect to be on the front lines again. now here's cpac. you guys understand that. this gathering has always welcomed me and you have consistently supported me. not because of my rhetoric, but because of my record and my experience in that deep blue state. >> what do you make of that? what did you make of romney on
defense clearly? >> that falls into the category of trying too hard. severely conservative? he called himself a moderate and progressive when he ran for senate. if you watch santorum's çátqq(r they said we conservatives. when santorum said that, it felt real. when romney said it, it felt defensive. he had to explain why he was a conservative. santorum got out there and said we're conservatives. we don't like the health care bill. we don't like the government. and it was authentic. it was integrated with the audience. it's two very different uses of the word "we." romney after five years of campaigning, he still hasn't convinced this lot that he's one of them and that showed today. >> i guess despite the new orleans music out there, mark, he hasn't exactly built up the jazz aspect of his personality,
has he? >> he talked a little more personal today. this is a brand new speech for him. it was not his normal speech. he took on directly his massachusetts record. first, we pride ourselves in trying to be able to read the room at an event like this. i don't think either of them had a performance that's dramatically going to change the race, which is headed towards michigan in a couple weeks. santorum was very good. i thought he could have been better. romney was pretty good for this audience. he's not jazzy and is never going to be. he has to take on his massachusetts record as a candidate for the nomination and the general election. he was smart to do it today. he does have a better story to tell to conservatives. >> let's watch them both living off the land on the issue of the catholic church, especially on that birth control issue, which seems to have been resolved today. that issue handed to them by the white house gaveç santorum the
perfect issue to play to his social conservative base. here he is, santorum, talking about the president today and the recent controversy with the catholic church over contraception. let's watch. >> he's now telling the catholic church that they are forced to pay for things that are against their basic tenants and teachings. against their first amendment right. this is the kind of coercion we can expect. it's not about contraception. it's about economic liberty. it's about freedom of speech. it's about freedom of religion. it's about government control of your lives and it's got to stop. [ applause ] >> maybe the president all week long was helping santorum. here's gingrich late this afternoon. also went after the obama administration in a fiery speech. he accused the president of waging a war against the catholic church. let's watch.
>> this administration is waging war on religion. but so are the courts. this is why we need a movement that's bigger than beating obama. we need a movement that understands we're going to change the congress, the white house, and when necessary, the courts. we all need to understand how real this is. this country was founded by people who came here in order to avoid religious persecution. the very basis of this country was religious liberty. we are endowed by our creator with certain unailenable rights. and barack obama seeks to cut . i don't care what deal he tries to cut. this is a man that is deeply committed to wage war on the catholic church.
>> that was a little desperate there. given the fact it was a peace treaty announced. maybe not right wing, but it seems like newt gingrich is just trying to wave the bloody shirt there. >> that's the reddest of red meat to a crowd like this. whoever the republican nominee is, even if it's mitt romney, whoever the nominee is is going to use that kind of argument. however, the hhs rules, they are going to say the president doesn't respect religion and he's engaged in a liberal overreach across the board in the health care law and then against peoples' religious freedom. it's going to be something that rallies the base and some campaign rhetoric and even ads on radio probably no matter who the nominee is. no matter how this is resolved. >> the economy is getting better. they have to switch to the social issues and get desperate.
mark halperin, thank you. david corn, thank you. up next, what did michele bachmann learn from her campaign for president? that's ahead in the sideshow. she got a little funnier. you're watching "hardball" on msnbc. [ male announcer ] the inspiring story of how a shipping giant can befriend a forest may seem like the stuff of fairy tales. but if you take away the faces on the trees... take away the pixie dust.
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♪ what started as a whisper ♪ every day, millions of people choose to do the right thing. ♪ slowly turned to a scream ♪ there's an insurance company that does that, too. liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy? ♪ amen, omen back to "hardball." now for the sideshow. first up, when president obama's campaign released their campaign music play list, you might have wondered about the campaign tunes of his potential rivals. the group of americans united for change has some suggestions for mitt çromney. let's listen. >> you've been embarrassed for him on the campaign trail. bring some of mitt romney's hits recorded with costar and running
mate gordon gekko. ♪ oh secretive swiss banking laws ♪ >> you'll get the songs that touched your heart. ♪ should past positions be forgot and never thought about ♪ ♪ so once i was a moderate ♪ it's past and gone make sure you have your gold card and start spending. >> that's courtesy of the leading group that made a point of aligning mitt romney with the fictional wall street character gordon gekko. michele bachmann, the former presidential candidate took to the stage yesterday and talked about her days on the campaign trail. she could have used a doover.
>> running for president of the united states is really one series of humiliations after another. i learned three things when i was running for president. first of all, i learned where john wayne was born. that's very important. and then second, i learned the day that elvis presley was born. these are vital issues to our republic. and third, i learned never forget the threeç things that u learned. very important when you're running for president. >> the last one was in reference to rick perry, and finally read between the lines. legislation from mississippi sparked outrage early this week. the bill from democrat steve hollins says, "for all official purposes within the state of mississippi, the body of water that is located directly south
of hancock, harrison, and jackson counties shall be known as the gulf of america." >> no more gulf of mexico? his office was faced with a barrage of calls. he was saying it was just a joke. he came up with the ruse to draw attention to state bills he feels are too harsh on illegal immigrants. hollins says he's tickled that his satire was lost on so many people. some colleagues were less than amused. up next, how much did the fight between the obama administration and the catholic church hurt president obama with catholic voters? we'll ask our strategists when we come back. you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. early stages of cancer and it's something that we're extremely proud of. you see someone who is saved because of this technology, you know that the things that you do in your life, matter.
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i'm john fortt with your market wrap. the dow closed off 89 points. the s&p shed 9. the nasdaq was down 23. worries about greece's bailout snapped a five-week winning streak. one stock bucking the trend is linkedin. company's profits were better than expected. a rough day for toyota after safety regulators looked into complaints about door fires in some models. that's itç from cnbc. now back to "hardball." welcome back to "hardball." we're lucky to have the "hardball" strategists join us tonight. the culture war and issues that
reemerged in the campaign. abortion, gay marriage, and birth control in the catholic church. rick santorum said today there will be as important as the economy come november. and mitt romney is facing perhaps his biggest challenge yet, having lost three contests this week. with us his advisors voicing concerns about their candidate. his ability to connect with voters, the guy's own people are dumping on him. with me are the "hardball" strategists, democrat steve mcman and republican todd eser. if you seen staffers dump on candidates? they took all the credit when he had a good week. >> have i seen it before? yeah. >> in the newspapers. >> it's shameful. i think the story was overwritten. it talked about advisors who flew to boston. everyone who understands the romney operation knows if you're
an advisor of any substance or weight in that organization, you aren't having to fly to boston to deliver your message. >> that identifies who the guy is by saying he flew to boston. how about you, steve? youç can't make him what he's not. they are complaining about the putty they have to work with, the candidate. >> it is amazing. actually, you asked if we have seen this before, and the truth is, we saw it a couple weeks ago in the rick perry campaign. his advisors were pointing fingers at each other and at him. now you see the romney campaign guys doing the same thing. if i were mitt romney, i would be furious. i would be trying to track down who the leakers are and run them out of the campaign. if they are doing it now, they will be doing it all the way to november. it doesn't just anger the candidate, it demoralizes the campaign. you're in meetings where you're
wondering who the leaker is and people go out and give everything up and half the time you don't find them. sometimes you do. when you do, you run them out. >> what we're talking about today. the front page of "the washington post." under a large photo of the the cpac conversation is the headline "romney stuck in lukewarm, advisorers fear." one advisor said to sharpen his use of code words and create small pictures and vivid with voters. another flew to boston to say that romney's message is too business-like to capture the voters. still others have gone on television and written opinion columns to hammer home what is becoming a common theme this year. that romney has not been able to ignite a cause when the gop is primed to become part of it. the republican party hasç gang up against obama. 39% of the country is
conservative. it's all there for this guy, romney. he can't grab hold of it. >> look. anything can happen. as we saw with this fury -- the president has been president for three and a half years and just stepped in it this past week and turned the political conversation upside down. november is a long way away. barack obama became president in the process lost in the primary states like pennsylvania, ohio, new york. everyone said this is horrible for obama. he'll never win in november. he went on to win, of course. are there concerns right now? yeah. there are some concerns, but there's no real romney advisor who is going on television or writing opinion pieces saying any of this stuff. this is a bunch of consultants who probably lost a gig to try to get that work who are pissed off. >> rick santorum said today that social issues may trump the
economy. he said they are maybe more important than the economy. let's listen. >> we know there's a lot of excitement here because this election is about very, very big things. this is not just about jobs, although it is about jobs. and we obviously need to do something about jobs in this country. we know it's about big things though. really big things. more than just the economy. it's about foundational principles and we have seen that played out here in the the last few weeks. >> it's interesting. the advisors to mitt romney, who was still the front runner if you listen to the experts,ç ar saying smash this guy. go out there and smash him like you did gingrich. others are saying you better not do that again because you're getting a reputation as a negative campaigner. isn't that a problem when you have advisors saying the opposite of each other publically? >> yes, it is a problem. and i'm sure they are saying the same thing privately, which
would identify who they are. but the interesting thing here, chris, is candidates go into these partisan venues and make these speeches. they are really talking to the people in the room, but the cameras are rolling. so the clip you showed is going to make a great clip for the general election if rick santorum can pull off a miracle and get past mitt romney. and i think, you know, he'll see a lot of this if he moves on. >> because he said other issues are more important than the economy. >> that's right. i don't think most people believe that. i think it makes the case that rick santorum is outside of the mainstream, and that's not really what voters are going to vote for. >> speaking of social issues, here's president obama. he said the contraception issue shouldn't be used as political weaponry. let's watch. >> i understand some folks in washington may want to treat this as another political wedge issue, but it shouldn't be. i certainly never saw it that way. this is an issue where people of good will on both sides of the
debate have been sorting through some very complicated questions to find a solution that works for everyone. with today's announcement, we have done that. religious liberty will be protected and a law that requires free preventive care will not discriminate against women.ç >> can we all agree that the president basically solved the problem today? he brought together people who cared about women's rights, and rightfully so, but he also brought back the more conservative catholics who were concerned about a move against the church's basic authority over its own principles. >> he didn't necessarily fix the policy of it, because there are still real concerns about the institutions having to subsidize their insurance policies, but he diffused the politics of it. there will still be conservative catholics who probably weren't going to be with the president in the first place who will still be up in arms about this.
>> the liberal catholics. >> the liberal catholics got the fig leaf they wanted. >> adam and eve, that's the old testament, isn't it? >> steve, let me get a positive mood. he really did respect the view of the catholic church on this issue. they are right to their concerns and principles. he understood this was a legit mall debate within the community of the democratic party that may have disagreed on this issue. >> i think he did a great job of setting a tone of reasonableness and reconciliation. i notice the conference of bishops and said they were encouraged, but weren't necessarily satisfied. but i do think he took a principled and tough position to begin with. he understood and dealt with it quickly and came to a solution that hopefully everybody can live with. >> the problem is they are still
requiring institutions to pay for it.ç >> we have to go. thank you. great to have you. up next, the movie "the artist" is up for ten academy awards. we're going to take a look and talk to up with of the stars of "the artist" and the question about why we are watching a silent picture in 2012. i'll give you a reason when we come back. this is "hardball" on msnbc. hat. hat. the first technology of its kind... mom and dad, i have great news. is now providing answers families need. siemens. answers. nyquil (stuffy): just reading whatyour label.ing? wait! you relieve nasal congestion? tylenol: sure. don't you?
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the chairman of the house financial services committee is under investigation by the house office of ethics for possibly violating insider trading laws. u.s. congressman spencer bachus says he is cooperating with the investigation. at issue is whether he benefitted financially from stock trades made right about the time of the 2008 financial collapse. we'll be right back.
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and the end of the silent movie era. let's watch.ç ♪ >> wow. cliffton, the loyal chauffeur, joins me now. james, everyone knows you. now they know your name. it's so great to have you on the show. why in the year 2012, believe it or not, the year we live in now, a mostly-silent film, where you think it is a silent film, how is it the number one movie of the year?
what's going on in our world that makes us want to see an old movie like a silent movie? >> even though it is a silent movie in black and white e and the context of the story is the lates, it's a contemporary story and the period, the dynamics of the period in the late '20s and now are somewhat similar. people were anxious, depressed. the market had failed. people didn't know what was going to happen in this ducount, much methe same as today. so the story, even though it's set back in 1929 is available to a contemporary audience because the audience itself is creating the story on the basis of what they see in the frame and not on what's said. >> you know, there's another piece i'm sure you are giving thought to is at the time when people, a lot of them are losing their jobs because of productivity or automation in this world, especially in television with the camera people not working here like they used to. that they do identify with this guy who was big in the silent film and couldn't quite make the
change to the talkies. boy is that like today or what? >> absolutely. you know, the -- it's interesting, comparison between two films. on the one hand you have "the artist, kwats very small $12 million film, made about this period. on the other hand this "hugo" with 3d and all the other effects and it's interesting that they both deal with the beginning of movies and the effect of movies, that it has on people and what we tried to express in this country to the rest of the world about who we were and what he wwe thought co be. it's less cynical time. not so cool. more engaged. everybody wore their heart on their sleeve. and every ghonsonce in a while, things worked out the way they should. >> it's the wonderful sort of music in that movie almost like judy garland and mickey rooney and it's like this sense of
youth and hope about this country. the fact that hollywood actually looked like that where it was still -- the simple town that it was and meant to be. this place of innocence even. >> absolutely. we've gone, you know, now there are so many -- the making of films is so complex that sometimes that complexity takes over the story and directors, in order to justify these incredible budgets, they are actually serving the story up to the audienceç on a plate where everyone who comes to "the artist," every member creates the story for themselves in their head and the experience is sort of like reading a wonderful novel. when you get past those 20 pages, the story has you hooked and -- >> you are so right, james. i watched this movie for an hour and a half in a big theater. i didn't realize until an hour and a half in, this is a black and white silent movie. there's no weird stuff. it just happens to be silent. you go i can't believe this is good.
i grew up watching sid caesar on tv watching him play the character like john gilbert. and they used to have this gig where they would throw the water on the guy, give him a cold so his voice would drop and he could play in the talkies. i forgot we've forgotten the great sid caesar. he really got me hooked on this stuff. >> yeah. >> anyway, well, what more can we say except congratulations. you're going to win the oscar. good luck to harvey weinstein. and it's great to finally meet you after watching you in "w" and "rfk," "the west wing and as the duke of edinburg. after having gone to the carnegie school of greatness in pittsburgh. thanks for being on "hardball." when we return, let me finish with president obama finding a solution. the way of the political quick sand of the birth control fight with the catholic church. what a great piece of politics here on this friday.
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let me finish tonight with this -- president obama gets a gold star tonight. he's found a way to reconcile the goal of good health care, including reproductive health care for women and what he acknowledges as the legitimate rights rev lid s of religious organizations. he mandated that health insurance companies swallow the cost of birth control when church organizations decide they cannot in good conscience do so.
well, today's announcement by the president was evidence that he was both alert to the public debate and strong enough to make p he needed, he decided early on in this debate that action was necessary and took it as soon as solid public policy options but before him. he wanted to bridge the goals of women's advocates with what he recognized as the legitimate position of the catholic church. as is often the case, the way the public decides such issues is to decide who is being the bully in the case. if you viewed the government as bullying the church you found for the church. if you viewed the church as bullying its female employees then you found against it. today, the president presented a way to address both perceptions by directing the insurance companies themselves to absorb the cost of birth control. he freed the churches of having to do so. for people on both sides of this dispute it was a good way to end the week. it was especially a good way to end the week for president obama. it showed he was awake to the problem, was flexible and